Wednesday, August 15, 2007

What's in a name?

Granted, I’m no name-ologist, but doesn’t it seem just a little unusual that the National Hurricane Center people have apparently run out of human names to assign to hurricanes/tropical storms? For as long as I’ve been alive I’ve always taken some comfort in knowing that if I was going to be killed by a hurricane, at least it would be have a name I was familiar with – not some foreign name (e.g. Yuri, Stavros, or Osama) or a name otherwise associated with an object (e.g. Toaster, Battle of Britain, Ham Sandwich). It always struck me how normal the names sounded - kind of like how the name of a serial killer usually seems really normal until you find out he's killed dozens of people (e.g. Ted, John Wayne, and Jeffrey).

But now we have Hurricane “Flossie” wreaking havoc on Hawaii. And honestly all I can think of every time I see or hear a story about it is this mental picture of a Holstein cow rambling around the Hawaiian countryside pushing over tiki huts and smashing down trees with her massive cloven hooves. In my head, she’s wearing a little straw hat much like that worn by Minnie Pearl on “Hee Haw”. And that’s not because she’s a cow – it’s because her name is “Flossie”.

What does it say about climate change if we’ve had so many named storms that we now have to start using animal names? Will Florida be ravaged by Tropical Storm Spot in 2010? Will Hurricane Mittens bring untold death and destruction to the Carolinas? What happens when we run out of common animal names, too? Will we have to start using the overly long, ridiculously pompus names used in AKC registries for dog shows?

Because I can’t imagine how Fox News would be able to run a graphic covering “Hurricane Ch. Felicity’s Diamond Jim”* and truly capture the horror of the disaster about to befall those in its path…

* I don’t know what’s funnier – that this dog has it’s own Wikipedia entry or that one of the wiki-editors is demanding a citation for the statement that the dog’s gait is indeed “effortless” as described.

5 comments:

towwas said...

Now, see, I saw that and was like, yay, hurricanes with old-fashioned grandma names! Although it is lame that it's being called "Flossie" and not the full "Florence."

grrrbear said...

See, that would solve the problem for me completely! Because when I hear the name "Florence" I think of Florence Henderson and her mysterious obsession with Wesson corn oil, not cows in funny hats.

J.Po said...

The National Weather Service can't tell me they've already used "Suri" or "Shilo". Come on! There are tons of wacky Hollywood names, probably even one that starts with "F".

And, by the way, I've never heard *my* name attached to a weather occurrence. Three cheers for "Hurricane J.Po".

grrrbear said...

Yeah, J.Po! Where's Hurricane Pilot Inspektor?

towwas said...

Or Hurricane Moxie CrimeFighter?